The fingerprint method identifies fingerprints within ~0.5 seconds, letting you open the doors without wasting precious time. The model can heal broken fingerprint lines. You can add 95 fingerprints and 95 key codes, accommodating medium-sized offices.
The hardware is pretty cheap.
Despite its budget price tag, the Ultraloq UL3 can tussle with high-end smart locks. The lock can be accessed 8,000 times without replacing the batteries once. Its solid one-piece zinc alloy body withstands the elements like nobody's business. The iOS and Android app versions enable interesting access methods.
Smartphone, Fingerprint, Key code, Mechanical key
Bluetooth 4.0, Intuitive OLED screen, Anti-peep touch keypad technology, Sense-on, Knock-to-open (for iOS only), Shake-to-open (for Android only), Weatherproof and dustproof, Reversible handle
4 x AA batteries
Amazon's 30-day return policy
The Yale Conexis L1 is among the most popular smart locks on the market as it has a classic design and incredible functionality. The lock can be connected you can to your video surveillance system. You will always be in control of your house!
The built-in tamper alarm blasts an 80 dB internal alarm the moment someone starts to tamper with the lock. The bank-level encryption will be able to prevent any unauthorised access. The lock lets you create a temporary 24-hour PIN code for your guests.
The supplied batteries don't last very long.
This smart door lock from Yale is one of the most visually appealing and cleverly designed options on this particular market right now. Aside from its functionality and security, the model will not inconvenience you or your guests but it won't compromise on the said security either.
Smartphone, PIN codes, Key card, Key tag, Phone tag
Built-in tamper alarm, Bank-level encryption, Incorrect pin code features, Connects to the Yale Smart Home Alarm and CCTV systems, Control via app, 24-hour PIN code for visitors
4 x AA batteries
The Randomiser feature enables inputting 2 random numbers. This way, you can prevent thieves from stealing the password via peeing or inferring it from fingerprints. The Silent mode will let you adjust the volume or mute the key tone and/or the door-opening melody.
The instructions do not include information about which screws go where.
The Samsung SHS-D500 packs more features than the most expensive smart locks, letting you control everything regarding the lock and the doors this lock covers. Plus, with its futuristic appearance, the lock will make the entrance look brilliant.
Key tag, Password, Key card, Sticker
Screen with sensible blue backlighting, Randomiser, Away mode, Silent mode, Battery dead alarm, Emergency power supply, Prank warning, High temperature warning
4 x AA batteries
Amazon's 30-day return policy
The lock-out mode will let you prevent even authorised individuals from entry. The voice guide programming feature will make the otherwise complicated set-up a lot less confusing. The lock will give you ~8000 openings from 4 AA batteries.
The set-up is complicated.
The ZKTeco AL20B is where security meets practicality. With its zinc alloy body, the lock will prevent physical tampering as much as digital. Likewise, the integrated alarm mode will scare away questionable types, and the anti-peep touch keyboard will make stealing the password pretty much impossible.
Smartphone, Fingerprint, Password, RFID tag, Mechanical key
Bluetooth 4.0, Alarm mode, Back-up power, Lock-out mode, Intuitive OLED screen, Reversible handle design, Voice guide programming, Volume adjustment, 100-user memory, 100-fingerprint memory, 100-password capacity
4 x AA batteries
Affodarble yet just as Secure
The Ultraloq UL3 comes from the same line that its stablemate topping this list arrived from. Of course, since this lock is more than two times less expensive, it is not quite as impressive. Having said that, at this price point, the model can impress even the more demanding customers.
Sure, its appearance is a little bland. But who cares what locks look like anyway? Alright, you can make an aesthetics argument even with smart locks, but you cannot argue that this is the most important aspect. Available access methods, however, are a pretty important attribute. With this lock, you can switch between the smartphone (via the company's app), fingerprints, key codes, and mechanical keys.
As much as we appreciate key codes and the smartphone approach, the fingerprint method is the best one among them. First, the model enables less than 0.5-second identification, so you're wasting no time reaching for the phone or inputting the key code. Second, the sensors are durable, waterproof, and dustproof, which means you don't have to worry about the elements damaging them. What's more, the lock can heal broken fingerprint lines and lets you add 95 fingerprints, meaning that the model can accommodate residential use, business use, and commercial use.
Nevertheless, the passcode approach has its moments as well, allowing you to create 4-8 digit codes. You can make as many as 95 codes, so, again, the model can fit small- and medium-sized offices as much as home use. The anti-peep password future that no self-respecting smart locks are complete without these days has not gone anywhere either, enabling you to input random numbers before and after the real key code. As long as the actual keycode is there, the lock will let you in.
Long Battery Life
There's nothing new or interesting about the company's app, so we won't be discussing the smartphone method. But we do appreciate the keyhole positioned on the bottom, making the lock more secure against keyhole hackers. We can also appreciate the long battery life that lets you access the lock 8,000 times before you'll have to replace the 4 AA batteries that are required to use the lock.
As uninspired as the app is otherwise, the iOS version includes Sense-on and Knock-to-open features, while the Android version lets you shake the phone and open the doors.
To give you the gist, the Ultraloq UL3 somehow forgets its almost low-end price tag, delivering features that we normally associate with premium smart locks.
|Last updated price||£813.37|
Yale Conexis L1 (SD-L1000-CH)
Unpretentious Design, Total Safety
With the first lock having been presented over than 50 years ago, Yale company has made huge progress and now produces a whole range of safe and smart innovative solutions. For this review, we've selected its Conexis L1 smart lock that's gained trust and become popular with consumers all over the world. The lock looks pretty much simple, if not unpretentious, being fitted with neither LCD screen nor buttons, so you're likely to take it for a conventional deadbolt lock, casting a quick look at it. Yet, it's not as simple as it looks and can provide you with some really high tech functions and top-notch protection level.
What sets the Conexis L1 smart lock apart is that it doesn't have any keyhole and it only requires electronic control. This way, if a burglar decided to break into your place, he wouldn't be able to do so, even with a picklock in hand. The Yale smart lock is suitable for the majority of uPVC and composite doors, whereas the installation is effortless and requires nothing at all but a screwdriver.
Multiple Ways to Unblock the Yale Smart Lock
As we have just mentioned, this Yale smart lock can be opened with the help of electronics only. The unit is powered by 4 AA batteries; a special indicator will tell you when their replacement is required. Moreover, if the batteries run out of charge, there is still an emergency power source, a 9B battery.
The first and the most convenient key to your door (equipped with the Yale smart lock) is your smartphone. Download the branded Bluetooth app (available for Android and iOS) and you will be able to configure the settings, lock and unlock your doors in a remote manner. Moreover, the Yale smart lock supports the unique Twist & Go function; launch the app to activate Bluetooth, then twist your smartphone 90° to unlock the door. For even higher security level, you can generate special mobile keys that will be valid for a pre-configured period of time; you can share those keys with your family and friends in the app too.
The functionality of Yale smart locks can be enhanced by using additional modules. For this specific deadbolt lock, you can get a module that will connect it to other smart systems in your house. For example, you can connect it to your video surveillance system and see what's happening inside and outside your house via the Yale app. Stay in control of who enters and leaves your house (or office), create keys and share them with your family and friends, and enjoy the top-grade and cutting-edge home security system. Technology stands guard over your property and safety!
|Last updated price||£190.00|
A Sleek Entry Point
Though it definitely isn't the most impressive aspect of this model from Yale, we simply couldn't gloss over the lock's appearance. Its shiny silver housing looks particularly posh. The OLED display with a black background is nothing new, sure, but the blue characters add a sort of a high-tech touch that really brings it all together, making for a sleek and oddly charming device.
But, again, it really isn't about the looks with these things. Luckily enough, the internal parts of the lock are just as impressive as the external ones. First and foremost, a smart door lock has to be convenient and secure and the model in question is nothing if not reliable and practical.
With smart locks, it all starts with the access methods. Here, you get a choice of 5 different available methods. You can open the door via a phone tag. Alternatively, you can use the key tag (keycode) that comes with the lock. A key card that's also part of the package is just as good of an option. Of course, as it is always the case with smart locks, you can program a PIN code and enter the house using that code. Finally, a smartphone application is just as viable of an alternative, as long as it is connected to a compatible Smart home system.
By the way, speaking of PIN codes, you'll be able to make up and program up to 20 different PIN codes (between 4 and 10 digits). The key tag and the key card that come with the model also aren't the only copies that'll work with the lock as it is capable of recognising up to 20 different cards, key tags, and phone tags.
No Access for the Wicked
Though multiple access methods is definitely an advantage of this model, we can't say that it is the advantage. No, as far as we're concerned, that title is shared between the multitude of safety and convenience features that the model comes equipped with. The first feature is the built-in tamper alarm that starts blasting an 80 dB internal alarm the moment someone starts to tamper with the lock. There's also the bank-level encryption that will be able to prevent any unauthorised access.
Doesn't really have much to do with safety but we really like the 24-hour PIN code for visitors feature. As you'd imagine, it lets you create a temporary PIN code for your guests, a nice little function that will make things easy and convenient both for you and your friends and relatives.
One thing that we couldn't overlook is what is referred to in the IT community as backwards compatibility. More specifically, we're talking about the fact that this model is suitable for wooden doors and can fit onto an existing night latch. As long as that night latch features the standard 60-mm backset, you should be able to make it work.
In short, this smart door lock from Yale is one of the most visually appealing and cleverly designed options on this particular market right now. Aside from its functionality and security, the model comes with a 9V battery. Just touch the battery onto the terminal at the bottom of the lock and you'll be able to provide it with a temporary power load in the event of flat batteries.
|Last updated price||£99.00|
The Future is Locked
The Samsung SHS-D500 borrows inspiration from the company's phones. As you can tell from the pictures, the lock looks sleek, modern, and even a little futuristic, not unlike Samsung smartphones. The lines are clean and seamless, the edges are rounded, there's nothing about the model's appearance that we can criticise.
We can, however, criticise the instructions that come with the package. Because this is a drop-bolt lock, you'll be installing multiple different screws. The hardware is shipped with the lock, which is great, but the instructions do not include information about which screws go where, so you'll have to find info online or figure things out yourself. Setting this mishap aside, the model ranks among the best smart locks.
First things first, the lock incorporates blue backlighting, making the digits on its screen visible even in low-light conditions. You can adjust its brightness so that the backlighting is not overbearing or insufficient.
Examining access methods, this digital lock lets you choose between key tags, key cards, password, and stickers. Of course, the package includes two tags, two stickers, and two cards, so you can share those with family members.
A Whole Slew of Features
As one would expect, the best part about this model is its abundant features. To start with, the Randomiser feature lets you input two random numbers, preventing the password from being inferred from fingerprints or someone observing the password nearby. The Silent mode enables adjusting the volume or muting the key tone or the opening melody, preventing them from waking up a sleeping baby.
When the batteries are running low, the lock sounds a dead battery alarm, informing you that you should change the batteries. That said, in case you don't replace the batteries in time anyway, there's also an emergency power supply on the integrated 9V battery that lets you open the door via the instant battery charging terminal.
One interesting feature that even more expensive smart locks seldom include is the abnormally high temperature warning. When the temperature inside reaches dangerous levels, the lock opens automatically, enabling swift evacuation. Last and, truth be told, least, the prank warning feature will sound a warning and disable key authentification for three minutes, preventing pranking and trespassing.
Long story short, there are no smart locks within this price bracket that can compete with the Samsung SHS-D500 on the functionality basis.
|Last updated price||£134.99|
The ZKTeco AL20B will cost you some. But when you start going through its features, you also start seeing where the immodest price tag is coming from. In short, this model is a powerhouse, teeming with many more features than what you usually get from smart locks.
To get the ball rolling, this device adopts a Bluetooth module, which is nothing new, but everything starts with it. Using this module, the model can work with iOS- and Android-enabled gadgets alike. Have we seen that before? Countless times, yes. But, again, this is not quite the same deal that we've come to expect. To name one, the same deal seldom includes a lock-out mode. As you would expect from the name, this model lets you lock this lock out (pardon the phrasing), preventing entry even via authorised access methods.
These methods, by the way, include not just the above-mentioned smartphone approach but also fingerprint, password, RFID tag, and mechanical key. And, as the model's integrated memory lets you add 100 users, 100 password, and 100 fingerprints, the lock more than supports commercial/business use as much as home use. As always, you can create temporary passcodes (and, with the app, you can do that from anywhere), monitoring and keeping track of the people that come and leave, including time information. Where your average user is concerned, the feature can be used to grant limited access rights to babysitters or housekeepers.
Voice Guide Programming
Before you start fiddling with the app, the lock presents an intuitive OLED screen that, for the most part, makes things pretty easy to figure out. That being said, considering the sheer number of features that this device comes loaded with, the setup may seem a little complicated anyway. Fortunately, the voice guide programming option will, as the name suggests, guide you through the programming part, so you should be able to get a solid grip relatively quick.
What else counts among these features? Well, the anti-peep touch keyboard is one. The alarm mode is two, scaring away intruders. Following the latest smart lock trends, this model also incorporates a Randomiser feature. With this feature, you can input two random numbers at the start, in the middle, or in the end of the password, preventing thieves from stealing it or figuring out the password from fingerprints.
Without discussing the more boring features that come without saying at this price window (including the reversible handle and volume adjustment), there are very few smart locks that match security with convenience quite as well as the ZKTeco AL20B.
|Last updated price||£183.55|
What Is a Smart Lock?
All of us have got at least one key to carry around - either to the entrance door of the house or flat or to the garage or shed. That said, many people carry not one but four or even five keys to access different doors and places. Striving to make our lives a bit easier, manufactures have invented a smart solution that requires no keys at all, that is a smart lock. With a smart lock being used, you will only need to make sure you've downloaded a special app on your phone or tablet (whatever device you usually take with you) and then, using this app, access your living place (or any other place). Smart locks, in their vast majority, offer pretty much the same functionality as regular locks but, unlike the latter, offer a higher level of security. Many models of smart locks out there now have compatibility with Smart Home systems too, making them a stellar choice for people building smart homes. For this review, we've picked smart locks from various price range and hope you'll have no problems finding the most suitable one for your personal needs.
Another device we'd certainly recommend you to acquire, especially if you're building a smart home, is a thermostat that will help you reduce your electricity bills by controlling the ambient temperature near the desired point. Also, you can check out these garage door openers that will let you open and close your garage door without leaving your car.
What Features to Compare
Your choice of a smart lock depends, first of all, on the access method. The lock should be easy-to-use. In general, you access the lock right from your smartphone which may even unlock the door automatically when you approach it. You need only to install an appropriate application on your phone. If you unlock your entrance door yourself, you will have to press the button in the app every time. In this case, you should deactivate the automatic unlocking option. Some digital door locks allow locking and unlocking with a regular key as well. The locks might have a digital keypad for the access code input. This feature will be useful if you do not have a smartphone. Apart from that, smart locks sometimes let you open and close the door via RFID cards. As you would imagine, these locks are ideally suited for office use, although we like them for home use too when that's not the only available access option.
Extra Functions & Conveniences
Digital door locks may additionally feature extra functions and conveniences, for example, regarding access control. The application in your smartphone can notify you if somebody has entered the house or left it, what was the time, and duration of the visit, etc. You will have a detailed log of all such events. If your lock is compatible with the Smart Home systems such as Nest or Apple HomeKit, you will be able to get the status reports or enjoy other convenient features. Waterproof locks can be installed in the entrance doors of any building. Other smart locks are intended for interior doors only. Some locks allow opening by keyfobs that are convenient for kids or other family members who do not use any modern gadgets.
Exterior & Installation
You should also pay attention to the installation procedure and the exterior of every digital door lock. As conventional locks, these smart devices may be padlocks or deadbolt locks. Deadbolt locks are installed instead of regular old locks. You can just replace the interior of the lock in your door. It can be done easily - just with the help of a screwdriver. If the dimensions of a lock are correct, the exterior of the old lock remains intact.
Because these locks are digital, they're supposed to be drawing power from somewhere, right? More often than not, these locks run on 3-4 AA batteries. Sometimes though, the locks might require no less than 8 batteries to operate. The difference here is how quickly these locks burn through the batteries.
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